Class Catalog

There’s a class for everyone.

Long-time writer or just getting started? Writing an epic poem or a short story? Whoever you are and wherever your passions lie—if you want to write, there’s a Hugo House class for you. Explore our catalog and find yours.

When we say we want our classes to be for everyone, we mean it.

Fiction, Nonfiction

How Stories Get Told: Voice, Narrative Distance, & Psychic Distance

Instructor: Scott Driscoll. In this class, we will discuss how to recognize voice and manage shifts between author and character voices, manipulate narrative distance, and recognize levels of psychic distance in order to control how emotionally close we feel to the character.

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Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 sessions
Start Date: November 7, 2022, 7:10pm
Format: Online
Fiction

Motives, Means, & Opportunities for Mystery

Instructor: Wendy Kendall. Three key elements drive all mysteries: motives, means, and opportunity. In this class, you'll learn how an author exploits these three elements to build suspense, increase action, and flesh out characters.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: November 12, 2022, 10:00am
Format: In Person
Fiction

The What If of Spec Fic(tion) for 9-12th grade

Instructor: Cassidy Dyce. In this introductory workshop, students will explore spec fic texts, engage in journaling exercises and conversations, develop their own stories, and will gain a better understanding of the healing possibilities of speculative fiction.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length:
Start Date: November 12, 2022, 1:00pm
Format: In Person
Fiction, Poetry

Creating Nonhuman Characters

Instructors: Elizabeth Beechwood & Katherine Quevedo. Nonhuman characters bring depth to your story not achievable with human characters. This lively workshop explores not only animals but also landscapes, mythical creatures, and inanimate objects, such as toys and appliances.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: November 13, 2022, 10:00am
Format: Online
Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Talking & Texting: A Modern Dialogue Intensive

Instructor: Carolyn Abram. The way people speak now is often mediated by technology, so the way we write dialogue needs to adapt. This generative class will look at the craft of dialogue—whether the conversation is happening out loud or in a text thread.

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Level: Intermediate
Length: 4 sessions
Start Date: November 15, 2022, 7:10pm
Format: In Person
Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

Labors of Love: Writing with Silvia Federici

Instructor: Amanda Montei. Each week we will discuss essays by Silvia Federici and write through somatic prompts based on the concepts we study. Our reading and writing will be inspired by housework, mothering, creative production, witchcraft, sexuality and more.

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Level: Intermediate
Length: 4 sessions
Start Date: November 21, 2022, 5:00pm
Format: Online
Fiction, Nonfiction, The Writing Life

Research Tools for Historical Fiction & Nonfiction Writers

Instructor: Holly Day. During this session, students will be walked through the process of finding old books and textbooks that have been archived online, and the proper way to credit them, if needed, in a bibliography.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: November 30, 2022, 1:10pm
Format: Online
Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Reading, The Writing Life

Bird’s Eye View: Strategies for Close Reading & Revision

Instructor: Liza Birnbaum. How can we delve deeper into texts that feel mysterious, thorny, or complex? In this class, we’ll experiment with hands-on practices—annotation, structural mapping, and more—that open up new understandings of what’s on the page and what might come next.

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Level: Intermediate
Length: 2 sessions
Start Date: December 3, 2022, 1:10pm
Format: In Person
Fiction, Nonfiction

Deglazing Our Prose

Instructor: Meredith Arena. "Deglazing" is using an acid to dilute sediment from fats left in a pan to make a gravy or sauce. Sometimes we've worked on something too long or can't figure out what the piece wants to be. Sometimes we need to "deglaze" our work and start with a new sauce as our guide.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: December 3, 2022, 10:00am
Format: In Person
Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, The Writing Life, Young Adult/Children's Lit

Listening to What Your Heart Longs to Write

Instructor: Kimberly Lee. This exploratory workshop is designed to help writers determine their personal thematic by distinguishing which topics resonate most. We’ll engage with imaginative prompts, including an exercise in which participants will analyze their film favorites.

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Level: Introductory
Length: 1 session
Start Date: December 4, 2022, 10:00am
Format: Online
Fiction, Reading

Speaking Fiction to Power: Narrating Resistance

Instructor: Kate Raphael. What makes a more powerful story than real people’s struggles to change their world? In this class, we will analyze successful social justice stories and create narratives that bring our passions to life through complex characters and compelling conflicts.

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Level: Intermediate
Length: 2 sessions
Start Date: December 4, 2022, 1:10pm
Format: Online
Fiction

The Architecture of Place

Instructor: Katie Kitamura. How do we render place on the page? Study how writers create vivid, multi-dimensional settings, looking at examples from writers including Shirley Jackson, Sam Selvon, and George Saunders.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: December 9, 2022, 1:00pm
Format: In Person
Fiction, Nonfiction, The Writing Life

Seeing Beyond Stereotypes

Instructor: Michele L. Simms-Burton. Avoid the pitfalls of stereotypes by practicing seeing diverse people in their full humanity. Examine examples of writing that successfully present unique, fully drawn, non-stereotypical characters.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length: 1 session
Start Date: December 10, 2022, 10:00am
Format: Online
Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Novel, Poetry, Short Story, The Writing Life

Writer’s Welcome Kit (ASYNCHRONOUS)

This asynchronous course features online workbooks, including ten essential templates in Word and Excel to kickstart your writing life, and resources professional writers use to get published.

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Level: Open to all levels
Length:
Start Date: December 31, 2022, 12:00am
Format: Online Asynchronous
Fiction, Nonfiction, The Writing Life

Publishing Intensive

Instructor: Peter Mountford. This full-day class featuring guests from small and large presses offers an introductory overview of the literary fiction and nonfiction publishing business. Students will pitch their books to one another and offer feedback, as well as receive an extensive packet with resources.

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Level: Advanced
Length: 1 session
Start Date: May 20, 2023, 10:00am
Format: Online